Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Research

View Profile

Professor Carolyn Summerbell

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 46995
Principal of John Snow College
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 40071

Contact Professor Carolyn Summerbell (email at carolyn.summerbell@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Biography

Carolyn Summerbell is Professor of Nutrition and works (50%) within the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences. She is also the Principal of John Snow College (50%). Professor Summerbell studied at King’s College University of London, and has a degree in Nutrition, and also a post graduate diploma in dietetics. Her PhD was about nibbling and gorging (feeding patterns) and body weight in human. She worked as a research dietitian on a number of different projects at a variety of London hospitals after her PhD, and then as a lecturer in nutrition at QMUL, based at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. This included teaching medical, dental and biomedical science students (about nutrition), research on obesity, and also clinical work in the obesity clinics at Bart’s and The Royal London hospitals. It was during this time when she became involved with the Cochrane Collaboration and systematic reviewing, which remains an important pillar of her research.

Professor Summerbell’s research focuses on public health and the prevention of obesity, which includes elements of nutrition, physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Specifically, her work includes 1) the collation of evidence for the prevention of obesity in children and adults, and dissemination and translation of this evidence into policy and practice, 2) the development of community-based interventions to prevent childhood and adult obesity, and 3) the development of tools to assess dietary intake and physical activity levels at population level. The need to assess and reduce health inequalities underpins this programme of work.

Professor Summerbell has a strong record of attracting research grants from a variety of funding sources. For example, she is a co-applicant on one (called Fuse) of the seven members of the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) funded SPHR (School for Public Health Research). Fuse includes all five Universities in the North East of England, and she is Deputy Director of Fuse. She is involved in a number of research projects, including those funded by BIG Lottery, The European Commission, MRC, NIHR, and SPHR. She is also involved in the N8 Agrifood Resilience programme. She is also a member of the Expert Committee of the EPODE International Network (from the French Ensemble, Prévenons l’Obésité des Enfants / Together Let’s Prevent Childhood Obesity),, and was one of the founding trustees of the charity First Steps Nutrition Trust.

Professor Summerbell was a member of the Research Funding Board of the NIHR funded Public Health Research Programme from it’s inception to 2013, and is currently a member of the expert review panel of the MRC/NIHR/BBSRC funded UK Nutrition Research Partnership (UK NRP) Collaborative Awards. Prof Summerbell has co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed research papers and many Cochrane reviews, including a review of interventions for the prevention of childhood obesity which, between January 2015 and May 2016, was downloaded 15,663 times and is the 4th highest downloaded review of 19,274 articles from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in this time period. She is regularly invited to give keynote lectures at international conferences, and is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Obesity.

Research Groups

School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health

Research Projects

Department of Geography

Research Interests

  • The collation of evidence for the prevention of obesity in children and adults
  • Dissemination and translation of evidence for the prevention of obesity in children and adults into policy and practice
  • The development of community-based interventions to prevent childhood and adult obesity
  • The development of tools to assess dietary intake and physical activity levels at population level

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Nutrition: Nutrition
  • Obesity: The prevention of obesity

Supervises

Selected Grants

  • 2017: Exploring the nature and acceptability of local authority actions to restrict proliferation of hot-food takeaways in England: preparation for a large-scale evaluation. FUNDER: School for Public Health Research (SPHR)2. Principal Investigator Jean Adams (Cambridge); C Summberbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING: £115,207. DURATION: 1st November 2017 for 16 months
  • 2017: Improving healthy energy-balance and obesity-related behaviours among pre-schoolers in Malaysia: feasibility of adapting the Toybox-study. FUNDER: MRC and Newton Fund. Principal Investigator Leigh Gibson (Roehampton); C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING: £98,994. DURATION: 1st Jan 2017 for 2 years
  • 2017: NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR 2) FUNDER: NIHR. Principal Investigator Ashley Adamson (Newcastle); C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING £2.25M. DURATION: 1st May 2017 - 2022 (5 Years)
  • 2017: Using Islamic Religious Settings to prevent childhood obesity. FUNDER: NIHR Programme Development Grant. Principal Investigator Sally Barber (Bradford NHS Trust); C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING: £100,000. DURATION: 1st July for 12 Months
  • 2016: Formative evaluation of the First Wave of the national implementaion of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in England. FUNDER:Department of Health(DH England) through NIHR SPHR. Principal Investigator Falko Sniehotta (Newcastle); C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING £217,776 DURATION:1st June 2016 for 10 Months
  • 2015: Evaluation of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme Demonstrator phase in England. FUNDER: DH through NIHR SPHR. Principal Investigator Falko Sniehotta (Newcastle); C Summerbell is Co-Investogator. FUNDING £246,319. DURATION 1st Sept 2015 for 18 Months
  • 2015: Update of the Cochrane review 'Prevention of Childhood Obesity'. FUNDER: World Health Organisation. Principal Investigator Carolyn Summerbell; Tamara Brown is Co-Investigator. FUNDING: £91,344. DURATION:1st May 2015 for 8 Months
  • 2014: Community pharmacy interventions for public health priorities: a systematic review of community pharmacy delivered smoking, alcohol and weight management interventions. FUNDER: NIHR PHR. Principal Investigator Carolyn Summerbell. FUNDING: £141,904 DURATION 1st March 2014 - End of Feb 2015
  • 2013: A Better Start Evaluation and learning contract. FUNDER: BIG Lottery. Principal Investigator Jane Barlow (Warwick); Co-Investigator is C Summerbell. FUNDING: £11M. DURATION: 2013 1 Year
  • 2013: SPHR Capacity Building Fellowship (bridging funding to start of Foodscape Project) (£36324.00 from NIHR)
  • 2013: The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health (Fuse) FUNDER: UK Clinical Research Collaboration (funded by BHF, CRUK, ESRC, MRC and DH). Principal Investigator Martin White; C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING:£2M DURATION:May 2013 - 2018
  • 2013: Transforming the 'foodscape': development and feasibility testing of interventions to promote healthier take-away, pub or restaurant food. FUNDER: SPHR. Principal Investigator Ashley Adamson (Newcastle) C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING:£446,646 DURATION: 1st Oct 2013 - end of Sept 2016
  • 2012: Determinants of diet and physical activity in infants and young children.FUNDER: SPHR. Principal Investigator Raj Lakshman (Cambridge) DURATION August 2012 for 3 Years
  • 2012: NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) FUNDER: NIHR. Principal Investigator Martin White (Newcastle); C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING £2.25M. DURATION:2012-2017(5 years)
  • 2012: NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) FUNDER: NIHR. Principal Investigator Martin White (Newcastle); C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING £2.25M. DURATION:2012-2017(5 yera
  • 2012: Physical Activity and Wellbeing in Schools (£6843.90 from ESRC)
  • 2012: Pre-schoolers in he Playground - a cluster randomised controlled trial of a physical activity intervention for children aged 18 mths to 4 years old (£21452.00 from NIHR)
  • 2012: School for Public Health (£131676.00 from NIHR)